The following is the full text of Pope Francis’s homily of a Mass he celebrated Sunday at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, as provided by the Vatican:
Today the Word of God surprises us with a strong allegorical language that makes us think. An allegorical language that challenges us but also stimulates our enthusiasm.
In the first reading, Joshua tells Moses that two members of the village are prophesying, proclaiming the Word of God without a mandate. In the Gospel, John says Jesus to the disciples have prevented a man out evil spirits in your name. And here comes the surprise: Moses and Jesus rebuke to these partners for being so narrow-minded. If they were all prophets of God’s Word! I wish that everyone could work miracles in the name of the Lord!
Jesus is, however, hostility in people who had not accepted all he said and did. For them, the opening of Jesus to the honest and sincere faith of many people who were not part of the chosen people of God, it seemed intolerable. The disciples, meanwhile, acted in good faith, but the temptation to be scandalized by the freedom of God sends rain on “the just and unjust” ( Mt 5,45 ), bypassing the bureaucracy, the ruling party and the inner circles, threatens the authenticity of the faith and, therefore, must be vigorously rejected.
When we realize this, we can understand why the words of Jesus about the scandal are so hard. For Jesus, the intolerable scandal is all that corrupts and destroys our confidence in this mode of action of the Spirit.
Our Father is not outdone in generosity and planting. Planting his presence in our world, and that “love is not that we loved God first, but that he first loved us “( 1 Jn 4:10). Love that gives us the deep certainty: we are wanted by Him, we are expected by Him That confidence is what leads the disciple to encourage, support and grow all the good initiatives that exist around them.. God wants all his children to participate in the celebration of the Gospel. Do not exclude any good, Jesus, on the contrary, help him to grow he says. Cast doubt on the work of the Spirit, give the impression that it has nothing to do with those who “are not part of our group,” which are not “like us”, is a dangerous temptation. Not only blocks the conversion to the faith, but a perversion of faith.
Faith opens the “window” to the active presence of the Spirit and shows that, like happiness, holiness is always linked to small gestures. “He who gives them to drink a glass of water in my name Jesus says, small gesture will not go unrewarded” ( Mk 9,41). They are minimal gestures you learned at home; Family gestures that are lost in the anonymity of everyday life but make it different every day. They are gestures of mother, grandmother, father, grandfather, son, brothers. They are gestures of tenderness, of love, of compassion. Gestures are hot dish who hopes to dinner, breakfast early to know accompany early. Gestures are home. It is the blessing before sleeping and hugging his return from a long day of work. Love is manifested in small things, the slightest attention to the everyday life makes always tastes like home. Faith grows with practice and is shaped by love. Therefore, our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. It is the very place where faith and life makes life grow in faith.
Jesus invites us not to prevent those little miraculous gestures, by contrast, wants provoke, that do grow, that accompany life as it is presented, helping to awaken all the small gestures of love, signs of his living presence and acting in our world.
This attitude to which we are invited leads us to ask, today, here at the end of this festival: How are working to live this logic in our homes, in our societies? What kind of world we leave our children? (Cf. Laudato if ‘ , 160 ). Question we can not answer just us. It is the Spirit who invites us and challenge answer to the great human family. Our common home can not tolerate more sterile divisions. The urgent challenge of protecting our home includes concern to unite the whole human family in the search for a sustainable and comprehensive development, because we know that things can change (cf. ibid . , 13). Our children are in us concerning communion, not division. Our children are in our men and women who join the others to germinate everything good that Father planted.
Directly, but affection, Jesus says: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” ( Lk 11,13) There is much wisdom in those words. It is true that in terms of goodness and purity of heart we, human beings, do not have much to boast. But Jesus knows that in regard to children, we are capable of infinite generosity. So we are encouraged: if we have faith, the Father will give us his Spirit.
We Christians, disciples of the Lord, we ask the families of the world to help us. Many of us participate in this celebration and this is already in itself prophetic something of a miracle in the world today, he’s tired of inventing new divisions, new bankruptcies, new disasters. I wish we were all prophets. May each of us be open to the miracles of love for the good of his family and all the families of the world-and I’m talking about miracles of love-and thus to overcome the scandal of a petty and distrustful love, locked itself and impatient with others. I leave that as a question for each answer-because I said the word “impatient” -: In my house you shout or speak with love and tenderness? It’s a good way to measure our love.
How nice it would be if everywhere, and also beyond our borders, we could encourage and evaluate this prophecy and this miracle. Let us renew our faith in the word of the Lord inviting our families to this opening; invites all to participate in the prophecy of the covenant between a man and a woman, which generates life and reveals God. To help us participate in the prophecy of peace, tenderness and family affection. To help us participate in the prophetic gesture cherish, with patience and love for our children and our grandparents.
Anyone who wants to bring into this world a family, to teach children to be happy for every action that is intended to overcome evil-a family that shows that the Spirit is alive and actuante- and find gratitude and esteem, regardless of the people or religion or region to which it belongs.
May God grant us all be prophets of joy of the Gospel, the Gospel of the family, the love of family, to be prophets and disciples of the Lord, and grant us the grace to be worthy of this purity of heart that no offense of gospel. So be it.